Native Lupine wildflowers bloom at Green Island, a 1,100-acre conservation area open to the public on the second Saturday of each month. Photo by Tim Giraudier, courtesy of McKenzie River Trust.

In Your Natural Environment, Literally

Spend one day a month for 10 months out of the year exploring Green Island on the river

Get outdoors this season and explore the nature that this beautiful area has to offer. Living River Exploration Days at Green Island are the second Saturday of the month from March to December. This summer, 1,100 acres and seven miles of gravel road and paved paths in a private area become public on certain days for people to explore. Grab your fishing gear and head out to the edge of the Willamette River or find restored gravel ponds. You and your bike can spin your wheels and get going on the trails — a mix of loose gravel and dirt farm roads. Feel like walking? Stroll near the confluence where the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers meet and observe 15 years of tree-planting and over 150 species of birds. The Green Island Ambassadors are a group of volunteers trained to direct you where you need to go and answer questions. “It’s easy — even when there’s lots of folks out there — to have a private quiet experience with nature. You can really feel like you’re out in a wild area,” says Holly McRae, McKenzie River Trust’s events and outreach manager. “It’s really just meant as a way for people to connect with Green Island in the way that they want to.”

Living River Exploration Days are 8 am to 6 pm June 8, July 13 and August 10 and 8 am to 4 pm Sept. 14, Oct.12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14 at Green Island, 31799-31601 Green Island Road. FREE. Pets are prohibited. More information at